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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Saturday 8/26, 6:15 CT

The Cubs look to start another winning streak.

Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Today's roster move: Here

Saturday notes...

  • WHAT (USUALLY) HAPPENS WHEN YOU GIVE UP TWO RUNS: A team that allows exactly two runs, as the Cubs did last night, rarely loses. Since 1901, the Cubs’ winning percentage when giving up two runs is .730. Since 2000, it is .745 (382-133). Since 2015, it is .777 (143-41). And this year, it is .800 (16-4). Four other teams allowed two runs yesterday and all of them won. All 30 teams this year have a combined percentage of .750. The Orioles are 1.000 (15-0); the Marlins, .889 (16-2); the Braves, .875 (14-2) and the Brewers, .857 (12-2). The Padres are just .500 (7-7). The Athletics are .429 (3-4) and the Royals are .273 (3-8). (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • THE PITTSBURGH-AREA NATIVE: Ian Happ, seven games vs. the Pirates this year: .364/.432/.758 (12-for-33) with three doubles, two triples and two home runs. At PNC Park: .333/.391/.667 (7-for-21) with two doubles, a triple and a home run.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Jordan Wicks, LHP vs. Colin Selby, RHP

Tennessee Smokies
Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Well, here we go. Jordan Wicks, the Cubs’ first round pick (21st overall) in the 2021 draft, is making his MLB debut this evening.

Combined between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa this year, the lefthanded Wicks has a 3.55 ERA and 1.172 WHIP, with 99 strikeouts in 20 starts covering 91⅓ innings.

He hasn’t thrown more than 89 pitches in any of his seven starts at Iowa so I imagine he’ll be on a short leash this afternoon, perhaps piggybacked by Hayden Wesneski and/or Keegan Thompson. He would also be pitching on normal (four days) rest to go in one of the doubleheader games Friday in Cincinnati.

This Sun-Times article by James Fegan goes into a bit of detail on what type of pitches Wicks throws and says he’s “mature beyond his years.”

Good luck, Jordan, and welcome to the Show.

Colin Selby is being used as an opener tonight. This will be his eighth MLB game. The previous seven were all in relief, and he’s posted a 7.27 ERA and 1.962 WHIP in 8⅔ innings, with 11 hits (including two home runs) and six walks allowed.

Selby was the Pirates’ 16th round pick in 2018, and making the big leagues after being drafted that low is an accomplishment. He posted a 3.86 ERA in 28 relief appearances at Triple-A Indianapolis this year, also with a lot of walks (22 in 30⅓ innings), so patience is preached as long as he’s in the game. He throws hard, though, as shown in the chart below. He’s never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current Cubs active roster.

Here’s who will likely take over for Selby, per one of the Pirates beat writers:


Today’s game is on Fox-TV (regional — coverage map). A reminder that if you subscribe to MLB.TV or MLB Extra Innings, you can watch this game via those services even if it’s not on the Fox affiliate in your market. Fox announcers: Kevin Kugler and Tom Verducci.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout. If you do go there to interact with Pirates fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.